Thursday, September 18, 2014

Black Beauty || Ralph Lauren Newbury Double Zip Satchel

Ralph Lauren Newbury Double Zip satchel with shoulder strap
Ralph Lauren Newbury Double Zip Satchel in black
Ralph Lauren Newbury Double Zip dupe for Prada Saffiano Lux double zip satchel
Dupe for Prada Saffiano Lux Double Zip Satchel, Ralph Lauren Newbury Double Zip

For a long time, I've lovingly admired the Prada Saffiano Lux Double-Zip tote (you know the one---every blogger and their mother has this bag). But $2,430 for a bag is not only impossible on my budget, but it also seems really wasteful in my eyes (do you know how many months of mochi ice cream that much money can buy me?!)

However, I really loved the shape of the Prada bag, and I was intent on purchasing a similar bag for law firm interviews and work. I considered a lot of dupes for Prada's lux double-zip, including the Tory Burch Robinson Double Zip and Michael Kors Selma satchel but $500 and $350 still seemed like a lot for a single bag. When I finally found this Ralph Lauren Newbury Double Zip at Marshall's though, I knew it would be the perfect dupe for the Prada at under $200. It's still the most that I've ever spent on a single item, but I can (and will have to!) use this bag for years to come.

If you would like a closer look at the Newbury, I can do a separate review post later.

Bag: Ralph Lauren Newbury Double Zip Satchel
Pants: L'amour, similar look here from Farfetch
Blouse: Phillip Lim for Target (old, but can be found here)
Lipstick: Wet 'n' Wild "Think Pink"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Money, Power, Glory || Blue Skirt and White Jaguar Print Blouse

Bright blue H&M skirt and white jaguar print blouse || Another Beautiful Thing blog
Magenta flats and bright blue skirt || Another Beautiful Thing blog
Bright blue paper bag waist skirt || Another Beautiful Thing blog
Fuchsia and bright blue || Another Beautiful Thing blog

The first week of law school has passed, and those movies weren't kidding: it was brutal. Not only was I still caught up in the moving transition (no internet last week!), the constant threat of being called on to recite in class kept me jittery throughout the day.

Our dean's welcome speech also made me nervous, but in another way. As she listed names and accomplishments of our school's alumni---past presidents, senators, World Bank leaders---I was reminded of Lana del Rey's song "Money, Power, Glory." It seemed that everyone that graduated was destined to be someone great or ambitious, and I wasn't sure if I could live up to that legacy.

But as I nervously looked around, wondering if I was at the wrong school, our dean began running through the list of states and countries that my classmates called home. And at the end, she said, "Do not think we made a mistake. We do not make mistakes. After all, we have searched the world for you."

And for some reason, although I know I still have three grueling years ahead of me, I felt so much better. Maybe in those three years, I can learn to call this place home.

Top: JCP (old), similar print here from Mango ($27.99)
Skirt: H&M (recent, still in stores), similar here from Dolly Pardon Me ($33)
Shoes: Old Navy ($23)
Bag: Ross, old
Lipstick: Wet 'n' Wild ($1.49)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lie Sangbong's NYFW Collection Makes Me Uncomfortable...In a Good Way || NYFW Spring RTW 2015

At NYFW, there are the typical crowd-pleasers (the J. Crew, Rebecca Taylor, and BCBG shows, for example) and then there are the head-scratchers like Lie Sangbong's showing for NYFW Spring RTW 2015. I singled out this collection because Sangbong's show make me uncomfortable and anxious---but ultimately, in a good way.

First of all, the beginning of the show already put me on edge because the dot/eye print really reminded me of lotus seed pods (DO NOT GOOGLE). The close placement of the print, as well as the size of the individual dots made me think of rotting holes instead of polka dot patterns.

However, I did like the dot print when it was done in multi-color; in that instance, the dot/eye motif seems more like rainbow confetti. Can't you see these pieces being popular in the street style for next Fashion Week?

But as soon as the rainbow dots passed, the collection veered back into uncomfortable territory. The butterfly prints that debuted next seemed quite cheap for a designer collection. I mean cheap in the sense that I've seen this in multiple mall clothing stores, and the overt size of the design once again prevented me from taking it seriously as a design.

When the sizes of the butterfly prints were varied, I felt that the aesthetics were substantially improved: the butterfly coat below resembled Valentino's ladylike print in Fall 2014, and a larger butterfly-as-corset made me appreciate the wing shape of the creatures in a new light.

My spirits refreshed at the sight of the butterflies, I was then subjected to another uncomfortable moment in the show. I could not evaluate the next few looks without thinking of my Windows 2000 screensaver and background, or a cloud level of Mario Kart. I don't know if the allusion to pop culture was intentional, but I was completely distracted by the sight of what seemed to be cloth cut straight from a generic computer background.

However, after the screensaver print disaster, the last two looks absolutely blew me away. Sangbong's forte is not in all-over prints (of which he needs to be more judicious), but he succeeds with selectively bold statements that carry the theme of the show without being too in-your-face. When the butterflies and watercolors are abstracted and concentrated in one element of the look, the result can be beautiful and elegant.

Overall, Lie Sangbong's RTW Spring 2015 show was a roller coaster of emotion: from discomfort with print choices to astonishing, novel looks. However, with a little refinement, I think his editorial eye for the singular details will outweigh his love of fighting prints.

All images from The Cut

Monday, September 8, 2014

Breaking the Rules || White Lace Skirt and Yellow Floral Blouse

Yellow floral Liz Claiborne blouse and white lace skirt
White lace skirt after Labor Day
White lace skirt and black quilted box bag

Was there some rule or something I'm forgetting...? Something about white and Labor Day...? Hm, I can't quite put my finger on what social convention I'm violating, but I'm sure I'll think of it later...

Blouse: Liz Claiborne (on sale for $30)
Skirt: Macy's, similar here from White House Black Market (67% off)
Bag: Forever21 ($24.80)
Lipstick: Wet 'n' Wild "Cherry Picking" ($1.99)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Colorful Garden || Watercolor Print Dress and Quilted Faux Chain Bag

Watercolor floral dress and red-orange pumps
Black faux leather quilted chain crossbody bag from Forever21
Watercolor print floral dress and quilted chain crossbody from Forever21

It's a good thing I didn't move to NYC, because I think I would go crazy from wearing only black---or very very dark gray. Boston is an entirely different animal though, and my bold brights are welcome here. (Boston is a lot less uptight and stodgy than I thought!) In fact, on my first day of classes, I spotted no less than 4 guys in bright salmon cargo shorts and blue/white checked shirts. Ah, welcome to the ubiquitous uniform of the preppy north....

Dress: Olsenboye (old)
Bag: Forever21 ($25)
Shoes: Talbots, this season's version here
Lipstick: Sonia Kashuk "Red Orange"